Alzheimer's / Dementia

2/25/2020 | By Rachel Marsh

Find a personal family touch at every Grand Brook Memory Care community

The smell of cake baking wafts through the wide, open kitchen, sending residents back to the days of birthday celebrations, family gatherings, and fond memories. 

“Our kitchens are open, so that … all of those scents can be experienced. That’s important because with dementia, your sense of smell can be impaired and it’s very important to trigger that area of the brain to stimulate it,” says Jane Anderson, co-founder of Grand Brook Memory Care. An open kitchen – filled regularly with friendly staff, social engagement, and nostalgia-inducing aromas – is just one of the powerful tools utilized in all of Grand Brook’s eight communities.

Family Matters

As an experienced nurse, Jane Anderson developed a personal passion for dementia care after the loss of her brother. “I wanted to do something in memory of my brother and try to spare families from what our family went through,” she says. Knowing persons with dementia have unique needs, Jane wanted to focus exclusively on memory care and deliver on the promise of treating each resident like her own family. 

The Anderson family opened their first memory care community in 2000 in Arlington, Texas and it was an immense success. For two decades, Grand Brook has set themselves apart in the senior living industry as a premier memory care provider consistently providing quality, trustworthy and loving care to each resident. 

The business is fully and proudly family-owned and operated, with each family member maintaining a hands-on approach within the company. With just eight communities, they are able to keep it personal. Anderson explains that the family members visit every location on a regular basis, making an effort to cultivate their family visions, values, and culture within their communities. 

“Family-owned and operated has allowed us to stay strategically flexible,” says Chad Anderson, president of Grand Brook. “Our family culture fosters open communication, compassion, and a common mission to provide quality care – the same care we would want for our own family member.”

In the Business of Compassion

Each Indianapolis Grand Brook location accommodates 36 residents, a feature the family attributes to much of their success. A smaller number of residents, they affirm, allows staff to provide more individualized attention to residents. 

At the same time, they also limit the number of residents that each staff member can care for, far exceeding the state regulated number. With more staff and fewer residents, each caregiver is ultimately better engaged with each resident and can more effectively observe subtle changes in behaviors, eating habits, and health. 

Keeping Memories Alive

The staff at Grand Brook recognize that no two residents are the same. All of their residents’ histories, passions, and traditions are honored and celebrated daily. Each community employs a certified and full-time life engagement manager, who coordinates activities designed to stimulate residents. 

Days are filled with events and activities that engage the mind, body, and spirit. Art, music, games, exercise, bible study, and field trips are among the many opportunities that fill a resident’s day. Each community also features a large, secure outdoor living area so that warm days can be spent planting in the gardens, or simply enjoying the fresh air. 

Leading with Culture

Among Grand Brook’s secrets to success is the culture of family that Jane and her family have created. They view each team member and resident as part of their extended family. They believe that treating individuals as family – not as an employee or a customer – encourages a true partnership in excellent care. 

Every Grand Brook team member receives in-depth, specialized training in understanding Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as well as best practices to providing care wherever a resident is on their dementia journey. Every nurse and caregiver is employed directly by Grand Brook and not contracted, so the leaders in each community ensure consistency in care.

At each Grand Brook community, there is an “all hands-on-deck” mindset. Every team member is responsible for contributing to the quality of life for each resident. From the owners and leaders, to healthcare, culinary, and housekeeping staff, everyone at Grand Brook plays an important part in the resident’s day. They know and learn each person and celebrate their individual stories.

“Grand Brook,” says Jane Anderson, is “a continuous team of people educating each other, working together and giving each individual the best quality of life they can get.”

Rachel Marsh

Award-winning writer Rachel Marsh has written for many different sites and publications on a variety of topics. She is the multimedia editor for Seniors Guide and works hard to make sure seniors and their families have the best information possible. When she’s not writing for work, she can be found writing for fun. Really!

Rachel Marsh